School-University Links for Evidence-Informed Practice


A range of studies has identified barriers to evidence-informed practice in schools, many of which recommend school-university links as a means for removing these barriers. In England, public policy also promotes school-university partnerships, which expects these to have benefits for both schools and universities. Secondary analysis of data from five qualitative research projects reveals that school-university links are formed around activities, including postgraduate degrees, research projects and evaluations, Teacher Research projects, research dissemination conferences and seminars, Initial Teacher Education, research-informed Continuous Professional Development (CPD), and bidding for funding. Although, superficially, these activities might seem to enable more and better, evidence-informed practice in schools, school-university links are founded on activities that are declining, those that are short-term, and those that heavily rely on the enthusiasm of a few people. This paper concludes by offering suggestions for improving school-university links, so as to enable research to better inform practice.